Thoughts on Memorial Day


As Memorial Day approaches I find my thoughts turning to the many friends and family who have passed on in the service of their country. Classmates who went to that hell hole we called Nam never to return, those who returned only to die slowly from exposure to toxins like agent orange. Those who returned only to fight the battles every day and night for the rest of their lives. Those who gave their all in the Cold War, no shooting perhaps, but as much a war as any other. Those who fought and died in Korea. Our parents, aunts and uncles, and I suppose for some of you younguns grandparents, who fought for freedom in WWII, Pacific for my father, Europe for my Father in Law. No my folks didn’t die, but they are all gone now. Let us not forget those who went before them, WWI, Civil War, and so many others. Nor can we omit those who have come after us, The Gulf Wars, Afghanistan, the list goes on.

But perhaps our greatest gratitude should be reserved for those who stood up and said count me in back in the 1770s, for they made this great country possible, by rising up in the face of impossible odds and saying, “Count me in, I’ll do my part.” That often ragtag bunch stood against the greatest military power in the world, and they did it many times with only the clothes on their backs, not enough food, ammunition, or training, but they did it.

I also think of the many who came back and never quite forgave themselves for that. The WWII vet whose entire platoon died in the Ardennes, He survived only because he was pulled from the line for OCS the day before the battle. He passed on some years ago, but if he were here today I would say to him what I have to others. “We all signed the same check. It is only by the grace of God, that ours were not collected upon.” We may never know why that bother or sister was chosen, and we were spared, just that we were, and that God had a purpose for that.

To the brothers and sisters still with us, be at peace, to those who have gone before, fair winds and following seas, rest in peace.

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About hisfool

I am a pilgrim on a journey, one which I pray leads to the day when I stand before the throne of God and hear "Well Done!" Along the way I have encountered good times and bad, been wounded and healed, fallen only to rise again. It does not make me any better, but perhaps, it makes me a little wiser and I pray a little more compassionate.
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